Immigrant camp run by notorious child sex offender
Following the recent discovery of a number of child detention camps in Texas, evidence has emerged that a known pedophile was hired to run one of the facilities under the Obama Administration.
According to a bombshell exposé by Texas Monthly, a man with a history of arrest for child pornography charges was tasked to run a major child detention center located in Brownsville, Texas.
Pedophile Ernesto Padron was a Border Patrol agent before he was forced to resign from the agency in 2010 after being charged with a second-degree felony of possession of child porn.
According to the Cameron County District Attorney’s Office, Padron managed to escape prosecution after his case dragged on too long and the charges were dismissed years later due to the statute of limitations being allowed to expire.
After escaping the charges, Padron was awarded a high-level position at the facility, where he would be in control of thousands of undocumented children, many of whom would regularly drop off the radar.
During an interview with the then-President in 2014, Obama stated that his Administration “didn’t even know how many of these kids end up in child sex trafficking.”
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Padron’s child pornography charges were “eventually” uncovered in 2016 when colleagues became suspicious and looked into his history.
When his past was exposed, he was immediately suspended from his position.
Padron remained suspended on full pay until he was later axed entirely due to mass-layoffs in May 2017.
Up until his suspension and eventual firing, Padron ran the Southwest Key’s Casa Padre detention center for unaccompanied immigrant children unsupervised.
Law & Crime reports: Casa Padre has recently attracted national attention as the revamped Walmart housing some 1,500 detained immigrant minors.
Most of those children are said to be teenagers who arrived at the U.S.-Mexico border alone.
A small minority of those interned at Casa Padre, however, are younger children who were forcibly separated from their parents as a result of the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy.
Casa Padre and the Austin-based company which oversees the facility, Southwest Key, refused to provide any details or comment on the extent of Padron’s interactions with immigrant children while he worked there.
According to a promotional video produced by Southwest Key, “The case managers are the heart of the program.”
Case managers are responsible for making sure children are reunified with their families and regularly have direct access to otherwise unaccompanied minors.
It is presently unclear how long Padron was employed by Southwest Key before his suspension, but according to Texas Monthly, he was still employed and working there as of last year.
Southwest Key is a third-party contractor paid to run immigrant child detention centers by the Office of Refugee Resettlement, which operates directly under the Administration for Children and Families.
Obama to Central Americans in 2014: “Don’t send your children unaccompanied, on trains or through a bunch of smugglers. We don’t even know how many of these kids… have been waylaid into sex trafficking.” pic.twitter.com/t4KcWAieNW
— Josh Caplan (@joshdcaplan) June 20, 2018
The ACF is an agency directly under the purview of the Department of Health and Human Services.
According to Wednesday’s report, state regulators have repeatedly sanctioned Southwest Key for failing to properly vet their employees at child detention centers across the Lone Star State.
In a statement recently released to the media, Southwest Key spokesperson Cindy Casares said:
“In the last three years, Southwest Key UM shelter programs have been evaluated for compliance on 73,292 standards and we are proud to say that less than 1 percent of those resulted in a deficiency.
“However, we take each of the deficiencies seriously by self-reporting to invite external investigations as well as performing our own internal investigations.
“When called for, staff have been terminated or retrained as we continue to strive for excellence in the services we provide to the children entrusted to our care.”